Nordic Semiconductor today announces that Silicon Valley, U.S.-, and Beijing, China-based Internet of Things (IoT) solutions company, Cassia Networks, has selected Nordic’s award-winning nRF52832 Bluetooth® Low Energy (Bluetooth LE) System-on-Chip (SoC) for its ‘E1000 Bluetooth IoTEdge Router’. The Cassia long-range Bluetooth router is designed for enterprise IoT applications including: Industrial, healthcare, smart city, retail, senior care, education, as well as sports.
By employing the Bluetooth 5-certified Nordic nRF52832 SoC, the E1000 Bluetooth IoTEdge Router significantly reduces the cost, and increases the power of long-range IoT gateways. Specifically, the number of Bluetooth LE pairing connections to devices increases, providing up to 40 real-time bidirectional links, bandwidth capacity is doubled, and ‘edge’ processing of third-party applications is enabled.
Cassia claims the E1000 is the first long-range, bidirectional Bluetooth IoT edge processing router for the IoT enterprise market. It extends Bluetooth LE wireless connectivity to over 300 meters (with field testing currently at much longer ranges). In bidirectional mode, it controls up to 40 Bluetooth LE devices, while in ‘listening’ mode it can listen to hundreds of devices. Combining the power of the Nordic chip and long-range Bluetooth, the router reduces the cost and complexity of enterprise IoT deployments, especially when compared to using costly smartphones or tablets as IoT gateways. Moreover, the router’s edge processing capability—powered by the Nordic SoC—facilitates new third-party Bluetooth LE applications for the enterprise IoT market.
In an enterprise IoT application, which may use hundreds of long-range Bluetooth routers, seamless configuration and management is delivered using a local server, or the Cloud-based Cassia IoT Access Controller (AC). The Cassia AC allows for the monitoring of thousands of connected devices from a single centralized interface. In addition, a dashboard provides a network data display, single click firmware upgrades, device location management, and encrypted end-to-end security.
“The new long-range Bluetooth LE edge routing capability solves many of the failure points of older IoT enterprise deployments including connectivity, scalability, complexity, and cost,” says Felix Zhao, Cassia Networks CEO. “Long-range Bluetooth LE does this by delivering a worldwide standard. It connects billions of existing Bluetooth LE sensors to existing infrastructure, using low power, over long-range, at an extremely low price point.”
Nordic’s nRF52832 Bluetooth LE SoC, a member of Nordic’s sixth generation of ultra low power (ULP) wireless connectivity solutions, combines an 64MHz, 32-bit ARM® Cortex® M4F processor with a 2.4GHz multiprotocol radio (supporting Bluetooth 5, ANT™, and proprietary 2.4GHz RF software) featuring -96dB RX sensitivity, with 512kB Flash memory and 64kB RAM. When launched, the SoC was the world’s highest performance single-chip Bluetooth LE solution.
The SoC is supplied with Nordic’s S132 SoftDevice, a Bluetooth 5-certifed RF software protocol stack for building advanced Bluetooth LE applications. The S132 SoftDevice Central, Peripheral, Broadcaster and Observer Bluetooth LE roles, supports up to twenty connections, and enables concurrent role operation.
“There were three key features of the nRF52832 SoC behind our decision to use the Nordic chip,” continues Zhao. “Firstly, the CPU power and memory allocation enable flexibility for future applications. Secondly, enterprise customers are looking for ‘connection density’ in order to reduce installation costs associated with deploying gateways, so the increase in the number of bidirectional links was a factor. Thirdly, the support for Bluetooth 5 allows us to position the E1000 Bluetooth IoTEdge Router for additional range increases in long-range Bluetooth routers, as well as future enterprise IoT features and applications.
“Nordic’s reputation and ability to work with Cassia Networks on our requirements and timelines further enhanced its value.”